By Ayodele Ayelomi
A group, the The League of Ogun State Professionals (LOOP), made up of indigenes of Ogun State professionals across various fields has decried the spate of violence being unleashed on the state in the run run-up to the 2019 general elections.
In a statement, signed by Wale Sanyaolu, its President and Dr. Bayo Ogunade, its General Secretary, the group said it is particularly worried by the audacious nature and the renewed vigour that the politically induced violence is being unleashed on innocent residents of the state.
“We recalled with sadness that this violence started in November 2018, with what we had initially thought would be just limited to the party, whose primaries turned bloody at that period. But our wish has been dashed with the commencement of the general campaigns by all parties.
“Even though it seems all the major four political parties in the state are involved in this politically-induced violence, LOOP is saddened that the political thugs, allegedly sponsored by our Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun are becoming vicious and daring as the election draws nearer,” the statement said.
The group said it was disappointing to note that of the states visited by President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for the presidential campaign rallies, it was only in Ogun State, “the land of dignified people, that missiles were thrown into the Presidential box, that had the president seated.”
“Though many people had condemned this act, we felt then that the ‘senseless’ nature of that act and the wide condemnation, will make Governor Amosun see reason and reign in these political thugs. But alas, this was not the case.
The latest mayhem unleashed on the state by the thugs, alleged to be taking their pays and instructions from the Chief Security Officer of our state, is really distressful.
Innocent residents of the state, many of whom do not have any political leaning were attacked by these thugs on Tuesday February 20, 2019, during the disbursement of the Trader Moni to petty traders and artisans. Many of these vulnerable people were injured in this attack.
This violence has now been taking a notch dangerous higher, as this marauding army is now going from house to house in Egba, Ijebu and Yewa divisions, warning known supporters and members of the opposing camps NOT TO COME OUT ON THE ELECTION DAY. The violence is now in a dangerous dimension
LOOP is calling on the security agencies in the state to discharge their duties without any favour by providing ‘first class’ security to all residents of the state, irrespective of their political affiliation before, during and after the elections. PEOPLE OF OGUN STATE SHOULD BE FREE TO CAMPAIGN AND VOTE FOR ANY CANDIDATE OF THEIR CHOICE.
We also call on these agencies to fish out the culprits involved in this spate of politically-induced violence, investigate and prosecute those found culpable in these barbaric acts.
We are also making a special appeal to the Acting Inspector General of Police to speedily act and restore the confidence of Ogun State people in the ability of the Nigerian Police to safeguard the lives and properties in this electioneering period. The first step in this direction is to give the peace-loving people of Ogun State a new commissioner of police (CP) as the present CP seems incapacitate by the activities of these thugs.
We are also calling on Governor Ibikunle Amosun, for the sake of humanity, to rein in these thugs and live up to his constitutional responsibility of the Chief Security Officer of Ogun State, that he is.
Finally, we are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to instruct the security agencies to PLEASE ADD Ogun State to their list of hotspot states if it is not yet on it. The sign to the build up to the elections, particularly the Gubernatorial election in our state is ominous.
A stich in time saves nine. Omo Ogun Ise ya,” the statement said.